Many people decide to lease a vehicle instead of purchasing a vehicle. Some people may choose a leased vehicle because of their work while other people may enjoy having a new vehicle every few years. Whatever the reason may be, you need to have good insurance to cover your leased vehicle in case of a car accident.
Massachusetts No-Fault Insurance
Because Massachusetts is a no-fault insurance state, you must file a claim with your insurance company when you are involved in a car accident in a leased vehicle. Therefore, you want to make sure that you have sufficient insurance to cover the property damage to the leased vehicle.
If the vehicle is totaled, you may owe the lease company thousands of dollars if you do not have gap insurance. You should talk to your insurance provider to determine the types and amounts of insurance coverage you need if you decide to lease a vehicle.
Filing a Claim Against Another Driver
Even though Massachusetts is a no-fault insurance state, you may file a personal injury claim against another driver in some cases. For example, if your medical expenses total at least $2,000, you can file an injury claim against the other driver. Also, if you suffer injuries that are serious and permanent that will affect your quality of life, you may file an accident claim against the other driver.
The fact that you were in a leased vehicle does not have an impact on your ability to file an injury claim. However, the minimum property damage insurance required for drivers in Massachusetts is $5,000. Therefore, the other driver may not have sufficient insurance to cover the property damage to your leased vehicle. This is another reason to ensure you have sufficient insurance to cover damage to the vehicle. You can discuss underinsured motorist insurance coverage with your insurance company. Underinsured motorist coverage pays the difference between the liable driver’s insurance coverage and the actual damages up to your policy limits.
Steps to Take After a Car Accident in a Leased Vehicle
If you are injured in a car accident, seeking medical treatment for your injuries is your first priority. Even if you do not believe your injuries are serious, it is best to be checked by a doctor as soon as possible after the crash. Minor aches and pains could be a symptom of a more severe injury.
In addition to notifying your insurance provider of the accident, you need to notify the lease company. The lease company may instruct you to have the vehicle towed to a specific repair shop for estimates. Because your lease agreement is a contract, you want to make sure that you do not do anything that could be considered a breach of the contract. In some cases, it may be in your best interest to consult with a Massachusetts car accident attorney to discuss the steps you need to take to protect yourself.
Since most accidents result in injuries that require more than $2,000 in medical treatment, you may have a claim against the other driver. An accident attorney can help you evaluate the accident to determine if the other driver caused the crash. Proving fault is essential if you want to recover compensation for your injuries and damages. Therefore, you need an attorney who can investigate the accident to obtain evidence that can be used to show that you did not cause the crash.
Damages that you may be compensated for in an injury claim include:
- Property damage
- Loss of income
- Medical bills
- Physical pain
- Emotional suffering
- Other financial losses
Determining the actual value of your claim is important because the insurance company for the other driver may try to settle your claim for much less than the true value of the claim. You need to consult with an attorney before providing any statements to the insurance adjuster or signing any documents for the company or its attorney.